Should Euthanasia Be Extended to Minors?

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In Belgium, voluntary euthanasia for adults has been allowed since 2002. Now, Belgium is now on the cusp of becoming the first country ever to remove an age limit for the procedure.

Currently, under Belgian law, patients have to be at least 18 years old to request assistance from a doctor to die. On Wednesday, a controversial bill that would extend the right to request euthanasia to children suffering terminal illnesses and adults with dementia cleared a vote in a Belgian Senate committee.

The vote is one stage in a legislative process and the bill must clear other hurdles before it becomes law. In the meantime, the country is caught up in an ethical debate around this painful dilemma.